Only known Kiss soundboard recording with Mark St. John set for official release this spring

Gene Simmons (left) and Paul Stanley perform onstage with Kiss in 1984, (from left) Paul Stanley, Mark St. John and Gene Simmons, pictured on the back cover of Kiss's 1984 album, Animalize
(Image credit: Paul Natkin/Getty Images, Mercury Records)

Kiss have announced the next installment of their Off the Soundboard live bootleg series, this time showcasing the band’s gig at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, New York on November 28, 1984.

Arriving April 7, the bootleg – which was recorded during Kiss’s Animalize world tour – will be the fifth in a series of live bootleg releases by the band, and will be available to stream and download, and in 2-LP standard vinyl, CD and limited-edition 2-LP custard yellow vinyl formats.

Notably, the upcoming release showcases the band’s only known soundboard recording that features guitarist Mark St. John, who appeared on the band's 1984 album, Animalize, but only performed with them a small handful of times.

With St. John in tow, the band tore through an 18-track set that fall evening, featuring energetic performances of Kiss favorites like Detroit Rock City, Creatures of the Night, Love Gun, Lick It Up and more.

Most of the tracks are intact, though performances of Young and Wasted, from 1983’s Lick It Up, and the classic Rock And Roll All Nite, from 1975’s Dressed to Kill, are incomplete due to tape changes.

See below for the bootleg’s full track list.

  1. Detroit Rock City
  2. Cold Gin
  3. Creatures Of The Night
  4. Fits Like A Glove
  5. Heaven’s On Fire
  6. Guitar Solo
  7. Under the Gun
  8. War Machine
  9. Drum Solo
  10. Young and Wasted (Incomplete)
  11. Bass Solo
  12. I Love It Loud
  13. I Still Love You
  14. Love Gun
  15. Black Diamond
  16. Oh! Susanna
  17. Lick It Up
  18. Rock And Roll All Nite (Incomplete)

For more information, and to pre-order Off the Soundboard: Poughkeepsie, New York, 1984, head to Kiss's official web store.

Kiss

(Image credit: Kiss)

In a classic 2014 interview with Guitar World, in which Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons waxed lyrical on Kiss’s past lead guitarists, the pair had some rather choice words for the late St. John, who would go on to be replaced – after his brief tenure – by Bruce Kulick.

“My classic story with Mark is that during the making of Animalize I sent him home one night to come up with a solo to one of the songs,” Stanley recalled. “And the next day he came back and played me something that was at least a start. Then I said, 'Play it again.' And he said, ‘I can’t.’ 

“The guy could never play the same thing twice, because he was just puking notes. There was no structure to any of it. So I told him, ‘Go home and listen to Eric Clapton. Listen to Paul Kossoff. Listen to Jimmy Page.’ And he looked at me and said, ‘I can play faster than them.’ So that about sums it up. Check, please!”

“Mark’s guitar playing was like an angry bee flying around your head,” Simmons added. “The most irritating sound. And he would show you that his fingers could stretch 11 frets. He could play very fast, but he was all technique. He did not have a style or soul.”

“Obviously health issues derailed his being in the band,” added Stanley, referring to when St. John developed Reiter’s Syndrome, an arthritic condition that left him unable to play, “but I don’t know how long he could have been in the band. He was the poster child for, as far as I was concerned, not understanding what great guitar playing was about.”

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Sam Roche

Sam was Staff Writer at GuitarWorld.com from 2019 to 2023, and also created content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar.